December 8, 2021 Report Highlights Home-Based Child Care as Key to Economic Recovery Trying Together, Allegheny County child care providers, business leaders, and advocates joined representatives of state legislative offices and members of the community on December 7, 2021 to release a new report from the nonprofit ReadyNation on the importance of protecting and strengthening home-based child care – calling such actions essential to supporting our state’s working parents and to bolstering our economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19. About The report, “Home-Based Child Care: A Key to Keeping the Pennsylvania Workforce and Economy Strong,” documents that the number of family child care homes has dropped 32 percent across Pennsylvania in recent years. In fact, almost half of the 1,000+ child care providers that have closed permanently since the onset of the pandemic have been home-based providers. The report cautions that given the current overall shortage of child care, particularly for infants, this decrease in home-based child care availability is especially problematic. The panel discussion focused on the need to include home-based child care as part of state and federal efforts to stabilize and strengthen the overall child care system. Noting that home-based child care is frequently overlooked when discussing solutions to the present child care crisis, the report identifies reforms focused on quality caregiving and sustainability. Specifically, the report recommends: Enhanced mentorship opportunities for home-based providers; Revising the Keystone STARS Program to recognize key differences among home-based providers and ensure that high-quality home-based providers can more readily become rated as high-quality; Increasing compensation to cover the actual cost of high-quality care through subsidy rates and reform the reimbursement rates for home-based high-quality care; Stabilizing the budgets of home-based child care providers through participation in programs like Infant Toddler Contracted Slots; and, Engaging in public education and promotion efforts statewide on the importance of high-quality child care across all settings. More Information To learn more about the panel discussion, read this news release or view the recording.